If you’re looking for a fireworks show to celebrate Independence Day, but the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on the Esplanade seems a bit overwhelming, there are plenty of other great options. Towns around Boston put on their own 4th of July displays that are just right for families with young children. Read on for some wonderful local celebrations with fireworks and festive Independence Day activities happening June 27th through July 4th.
Sure, taking the kids to a fireworks show for July 4th seems like a good idea—until you’re there. The little one (who refuses to wear earplugs) has his hands over his ears and a terrified look on his face, everyone is getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, and you know you'll be getting home well past the kids’ (and your) bedtimes.
Luckily, the city of Boston and the surrounding towns also mark Independence Day with parades, fairs, festivals, carnival rides, live music and food—no fireworks needed. There’s no better place to show the great ol’ U.S. of A. some love than right here in Boston, the cradle of the American Revolution. Do it in style at these kid-centric Independence Day celebrations, from the city's annual Harborfest to small-town festivities all around the Boston area.
You know it's summertime in Boston when kids are running through fountains and splashing in shallow pools of water on the Greenway and Boston Common. There is plenty of water fun to be had in neighborhoods all around the city, and we've rounded up some of our favorite spots. Most locations are open on weekends after Memorial Day, and then daily from the end of June through Labor Day. Bonus: they're all free!
This simple activity is the perfect mixture of two favorite summer pastimes: squirt guns and painting. Water gun painting is good old messy outdoor fun. Watch the colors swirl, whirl, drip, splatter and blend with this open-ended art activity. Powdered paint gives you more vibrant hues, but you're sure to have a blast with any sort of watered-down paint.
Summertime is jam time, whether your genre of choice is kindie rock, roots, jazz, blues, world or classical music. Boston neighborhoods and surrounding towns feature lots of popular local musicians in their summer outdoor music series, and some concerts are aimed specifically at kids. With our roundup of summer music series as your guide, you could take your kids to a community concert almost every day this season. Best of all, the performances are all free!
Since its inception almost 50 years ago, the Great Hudson River Revival (aka the Clearwater Festival) has grown from a small nomadic folk gathering into the country’s largest annual environmental celebration. Founded in 1966 by Toshi and Pete Seeger, the Clearwater Festival draws thousands of visitors to the shores of the Hudson River for a family-friendly weekend of music, dance, storytelling, theater, hands-on learning, water activities, arts and environmental education in Croton-on-Hudson's Croton Point Park. All proceeds from this groundbreaking festival—which made our June GoList—go directly to protecting, preserving and sustaining the river through the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. nonprofit organization. The 2015 fest is coming up the weekend of June 20-21, and it's a great way to teach kids about protecting our planet while having a lot of fun.
My kids love strawberries. No surprise there—strawberries are one of my favorites, too, and I've been serving the fruit to them since they first got teeth. Lucky for them, their grandmother grows strawberries in her backyard, so they've been part of the planting, growing and harvesting process since they were tots. They always get excited watching how the strawberry forms from the center of a pretty white flower, tiny and green, and eventually grows into a bright red, delicious fruit they can pluck and devour.
As much as they enjoy their grandmother's tiny patch, meandering through large fields of strawberries is also an awesome experience. It's not only a fun spring activity, but it also teaches kids about the farm-to-table and locavore movements, and encourages healthy eating habits. Luckily, we have a handful of strawberry picking farms in our area. We've rounded up pick-your-own strawberry places in the lower Hudson Valley where families can harvest their own batch of strawberry goodness. Although there aren't any PYO strawberry spots within Westchester's borders, we have located farms that are less than 90 minutes from central Westchester by car, close enough for a fun day trip.
The start of strawberry picking season is a sure sign that summer is right around the corner. Spending a day picking this sweet fruit at a local orchard or farm is a great activity for families. It teaches kids about their food sources, connects everyone with nature and makes for a fun outdoor experience.
We have compiled a list of farms in the Philadelphia area that offer strawberry picking, as well as a few activity-filled strawberry festivals. Read our tips before you go to help make your day at the farm even more enjoyable.
We're glad you're here at Mommy Poppins Boston, your free online resource for everything for families and kids in the greater Boston area. We'd love to hear from you with any questions or suggestions! — Tara